Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan 5-star cornerback Stanford Samuels III has just concluded a four day visit at Florida State. The visit comes on the heels of a trip to see Georgia.
“It’s a good chance to get up here and watch practice and interact with some of the players,” Samuels said. “I got to interact with some of the coaches more. Just getting to know some of the coaches on a bigger level. Just getting a chance to spend some more time with the players and just getting a chance to get up here and watch practice again.”
The Florida State legacy already knows so much about the program that it's now about just adding on to those relationships.
"No,” Samuels said. “Not at this moment. I pretty much know everything about the program. Just adding on new things that I see and new things that I learn.”
Samuels wanted to get to know the defensive coaches better, particularly defensive backs coach Charles Kelly. He was particularly impressed with the way Kelly teaches his secondary.
“This isn’t my first time watching him in that element,” Samuels said. “It just building on to the trust and the relationship that we already have. Just watching him coach and teach those guys is great. I’ve always had my dad so I want a coach that knows how to teach the craft. That knows how to teach what they want you to do.”
The scheme that Florida State runs is similar to what his team runs in high school, and that makes it easier for Samuels to see himself fitting in in Tallahassee.
“I think I would fit pretty perfect with the stuff that they do because at my high school, we pretty much run the same things that they do," Samuels said. "I mean some of the problems that their corners have, or some of the issues, at my school we’ve already worked those issues out having my dad and coach Bush have pretty much taught us everything that those guys know so I feel pretty good.”
Samuels got to spend time with a number of players including Da'Vante Phillips, Ermon Lane, and Dalvin Cook, but spent most of his time with Derwin James. The two are both extremely competitive, and that has helped create the friendship.
“Once you meet that person and you get a chance to be around them for a little bit, when it’s somebody that’s a baller like you are and loves the game like you do, you guys are going to connect,” Samuels said. “That’s what it’s been from the get go.”
The two spent most of the weekend playing Madden, and James took to social media to brag about one of his victories.
"We played Madden for the most part," Samuels said. "I didn’t get a chance to put it on social media when I actually won… He didn’t give me a chance to get a picture of it.”
Samuels could do all of that on a regular one day visit, but he wanted to see the whole picture.
“It was a chance to get the whole picture,” Samuels said. “Get to see the city, a little bit of it. Get a chance to hang out and not just come for one practice and leave. Get a chance to get the feel of the city and everything.”
He already has a great relationship with many of the players on the Florida State roster. Some that he has known since he was little.
“I mean some guys on the team I’ve known since I was younger,” Samuels said. I played football with them a lot back in Miami. So some guys I already have relationships with from back at home. Just building that on top of the new guys I’m going to meet.”
Samuels had originally said that he wanted to announce at the Army All-American game, but those plans have changed.
“As of right now I’m not really sure. I know my decision is going to be sped up, but I’m not sure on the exact date. It will be sometime in the coming months.”
He plans to take visits to Michigan and Maryland, and wants to take a visit to Oklahoma. Samuels wouldn't name a leader, but did say that Florida State, Georgia, and Michigan are his top three at this point in time.
Whichever school he commits to will be getting the added bonus of him early enrolling next January.
“Definitely just getting here and learning the playbook,” Samuels said. “Get a chance to learn the plays. A chance to actually do spring before everyone else comes in and enrolls. Just getting that step forward on everyone else. Just being here early. Most people when they get to college it’s a culture shock because it’s different than high school. So just being here and just having a chance to get adapted to everything and just see how everything works.”
Samuels is rated as the No. 1 cornerback and No. 10 player overall in the 2016 Scout 300.